This week I was delighted to be invited to join the panel for the latest in our monthly Schwartz Rounds. The topic this month was ‘When we cannot fix it’ and each panellist shared a story from, on this occasion, their clinical careers.
For those of you who have not heard of, or participated in a Schwartz round, they offer a confidential time and place for all members of the multi-disciplinary team to come together and share their experiences. The next Schwartz Round will be on the topic of ‘Belonging to team awesome’ on Tuesday 18 September, and I would encourage you to get involved in this or in future sessions. Thanks to Dr Jackie Walker and Dr Jo Davy for their commitment to co-ordinating these sessions for the benefit of all staff at PHT.
I think we’re all proud to have a diverse workforce in Portsmouth and our BAME network has been working to promote inclusion and ensure that staff from all backgrounds are supported. The dates for forthcoming network meetings in September and November are published on the intranet. All staff are welcome to attend, particularly those who have a passion for promoting inclusion, equality and diversity so please make every effort to attend a meeting if you can. I meet regularly with Matthew Kuruvilla, Chair of the network to discuss their plans and progress and I’m looking forward to their forthcoming Cultural Awareness Day in the autumn. The timing of this is great as we will be welcoming a number of new nurses and doctors to our team throughout autumn, who have been recruited overseas. More details will be shared soon for what promises to be a fantastic event for all.
Over the past few weeks in particular, there have been a number of staffing challenges in some areas of the Trust related to underlying vacancies in nursing and in some junior doctor rotas, but also due to the availability of temporary staff during the holiday period. Addressing the acuteness of the issues is a key priority for us all to ensure our patients are safe and you feel supported. Theresa Murphy, Chief Nurse has been meeting with all Ward Managers to provide practical assistance and will continue to do so with the corporate and divisional nursing teams. We plan to hold an open staff meeting in September to discuss the current issues and the plans which are being put in place here at PHT to address what are national staffing challenges, in most cases. I’d like to say a specific thank you to those staff who have been most affected and if you have any questions or concerns, please contact either me or Theresa directly on Theresa.Murphy@porthosp.nhs.uk .
Yesterday we had the opportunity to welcome Professor Derek Bell and colleagues from Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust, who visited a number of departments across our urgent care areas and spend some time talking to members of those teams. Professor Bell was appointed as the first Professor of Acute Medicine within the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London and has a keen interest in improvements in flow across hospitals. The visit allowed members of our team to share some helpful insights into the work they are leading and to hear about some of the work underway nationally to support improvements in urgent care.
From 1 October 2018 all outpatient referrals sent to the Trust will be received electronically as part of a NHS wide initiative and we are now in the final stages of our changeover to this new way of working. I’m pleased to report that over 80% of local GPs are now using the e-referral system and we are working closely with our partners in local CCGs to engage those GP practices who aren’t currently using the system. Should you require any information about this changeover, please contact either Jan Scott firstname.lastname@example.org or Mandy Mugridge email@example.com who are leading on this work and are happy to give any advice, or clarification you need.
Thank you all, for the care and compassion you show every day, to each of our patients.